In fact, it was one of the biggest duds of the Broadway season: a musical version of the 1992 Steve Martin movie “Leap of Faith,” about a con artist turned preacher.
The expensive, long-aborning show is closing this weekend, after a very brief run — and this piece in the New York Times dissects what went wrong (almost everything, it turns out).
To my surprise, buried near the bottom was this nugget:
Dozens of producers and investors in “Leap” lost money, including the Passionists, a financially struggling Roman Catholic order that invested $50,000 in the show. A leader of the order, the Rev. Edward Beck, said on Wednesday that he had hoped the show would run through the Tonys but was at peace with the decision to close.
“In its short run ‘Leap of Faith’ still touched thousands with a message of hope and belief, and most of those are people we could never have touched inside a church,” he said. “I had my own fantasy about actually winning for best musical. That would have been the perfect justification for ‘keeping the faith.’ But, alas, the money simply ran out.”
Has a religious order ever been involved before in producing a Broadway musical? That, it seems to me, is a story unto itself. I’d be curious to know more.